SMVDSB launching new projects for facilities of pilgrims

Jammu, December 28 (Scoop News) –Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board held its 51st Meeting at Raj Bhawan, Jammu, last evening under the chairmanship of the Governor,  N. N. Vohra, who is the Chairman of the Shrine Board. The Board took a number of decisions of far reaching consequence for the Yatra to the Holy Shrine.

While approving the approach being followed to select a suitable partner to operate Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Institute of Medical Excellence, Katra, as a Multi Speciality Hospital, the Board reiterated its principle direction that the facilities being provided for the pilgrims should be constantly reviewed and enlarged. The Board also approved the Chairman’s decision for the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (a joint venture of Government of India and Government of Uttar Pradesh), to prepare a detailed project for stabilization of the Trikuta mountain slopes with the objective of ensuring against falling stones and land-slides  which cause injuries to the pilgrims, also resulting in fatalities. The Board approved of 5 most vulnerable sites being treated, in the first phase, to prevent “shooting stones”. The Board also approved the installation of a multipurpose audio system, along the entire track from Banganga to Bhawan, to enhance the ambience and facilities for the pilgrims moving on the track.

The Board was informed about the high priority being devoted to enlarge the infrastructure for the Yatra, keeping in view the progressively increasing strength of the pilgrimage which crossed the one crore mark last year. In this context, the Board was informed that works worth over Rs. 100 crore were under implementation, including of projects like Kalika Dham at Jammu, Aashirvad Complex at Katra, Parvati Complex at Bhawan and Pony Shed at Bhawan. To meet the projected increase in the pressure on facilities consequent to the opening of the Railway link to Katra, the Chairman has already directed the implementation of a number of activities. The Chief Executive Officer informed about the action initiated in this regard towards creating more Locker facilities, augmenting and upgrading of Toilet complexes along the track and the time bound completion of the 7.4 km Dedicated Mule Track between Katra and Adhkuwari.

The Board was informed about action taken towards dismantling Durga Bhawan building, establishment of a new Exit Track from Bhawan, relocation of locker complexes located along the Queue Complex, widening of the track in identified sectors.

While reviewing the progress of Emergency Helipad at Panchhi, Non Conventional Energy Projects at various locations, and the afforestation work carried out in the Shrine area, the Governor referred to the continuing focus on improving and conserving the environment, including the greening of Trikuta Hills through continuous plantation activities. It was informed that during the last year, the Shrine Board had planted more than 3.5 lakh saplings, including Forest, Horticulture, Floriculture and Ornamental species of plants.

The Board approved of the Social Responsibility programme being extended and enlarged to a higher level, in addition to the large scale assistance being provided by the Board to various socio-cultural organizations, Self Help Groups and Baridar families.

To marking its Silver Jubilee Celebrations, the Board approved a proposal for the girls born during the Silver Jubilee year (30-08-2011 to 30-08-2012) in the families of Shrine Board’s employees and Baridars residing in areas surrounding the Shrine being adopted and provided education on an assured basis. This scheme shall be over and above the existing scheme to provide financial assistance for the education of the children of Baridar families.

The Board was informed that, to mark the Silver Jubilee of the Board, the Government of India’s approval had been secured for the minting of non-circulation Commemorative coins and, besides, two billion circulation coins of Rs. 5/- and Rs.10/- denomination.

The Board approved the approach being followed for improving the conditions of service of various categories of employees, including Ex-servicemen.

As a part of its preparedness to deal with the ever increasing number of pilgrims, the Board endorsed Dr. Bloeria’s recommendations regarding improvement of Health facilities along the track, including addition of 2 new dispensaries. The Board also endorsed Dr. Ashok Bhan’s recommendations regarding improvement of Security and Disaster Management measures, consequent to his recent inspection of the existing arrangements.